February 2, 2011
Last week we went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Totem which was absolutely amazing, literally high performance at it’s very peak, leaving me open mouthed, thinking ‘how do they do that?’. Businesses might learn a great deal from Cirque du Soleil’s approach to successfully delivering such a fantastic performance, one that exceeded expectations on all levels, especially given the high risk element of many of the performances. And Cirque to Soleil produce more than fantastic performances – the whole organisation is a very successful business in its own right.
The 5 Ps (planning and preparation prevent poor performance), is an often cited mantra with regards to delivering a vision, initiative or project; achieving goals, targets or objectives. So if that’s how to prevent poor performance, you might only end up achieving mediocre performance (remember you get what you focus on i.e, ‘preventing poor performance’). So I think the emphasis should be shifted to ‘how to achieve great performance’ such as Cirque du Soleil’s which was polished, professional and beyond expectation. So my suggested revision is to positively focused 6 Ps ‘Purpose, Planning and Preparation Produce Peak Performance.’ If anyone reading this has a different/more interesting positively focused revision I’d love to hear from you. (Thanks to Liz Gooster for suggesting ‘Produce’)